Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

What happened to the thing I loved?

The-Catch

What happened to the thing I loved? 24.09.17

American football, like nothing else, rose before me in the 1980s while I was still working out how to be a boy. In Wales we had semi-professional rugby and a football team that never quite qualified for anything. The Darwinian in me stared from across the pond and sighed in awe at the San Francisco 49ers.

When manhood is something simultaneously remote and aspirational, what could be more alluring than the super-masculinity of heavily padded athletes, and your team as the best?

Several decades on and everyone's talking about American football for the wrong reasons. Some of its former players are dying from degenerative brain disease brought on from constant concussions and helmet-driven hits. It's also the sport where players are refusing to stand for the national anthem, in protest at police brutality against America's black community. Donald Trump yesterday entered this crucible of what makes America so American. Players who won't stand for the flag should be fired. Players who complain about the brain-destroying contact aren't real men. Shades of Trump's attack on John McCain in 2015: ' He's a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren't captured.' Meanwhile forty-four American football players stand accused of sexual assault or domestic violence, and no one bats an eyelid.

The game that meant so much to me one time, and the team that carried my fragile ego into battle on my behalf, I watch it now like a grown up watching its aging parent passing homophobic comments while shuffling to an armchair. I've watched the quarterback of my beloved 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, get blackballed from the NFL because he took a stand against brutality and racism, while white fans call Kaepernick a traitor for disrespecting the US military. Evidently, a shunned flag is many times a bigger crime than a teenager shot dead for being black, or a woman touched up or casually assaulted.

Within its DNA are still strands of something beautiful in American football: razzmatazz and the sleek glittered moves of cheerleaders. On that carefully marked gridiron swoop athletes specializing in smashing into or shimmying around enemy spaces. That brown, spinning ball, in slowly moving arcs, floating slow-mo into the hands of a waiting, ballet dancer of bruising power. The space-age stadiums, the mascots and the hot dogs. The Star Spangled Banner, the slick, prime-time entertainment, the sexism, the racism, the senile dementia.

I was a small boy once who loved this game. I'm living as a woman now and staring, disbelieving at this aging behemoth as it lumbers, apparently, on its last legs, to the stench of burning hot dogs and Budweiser beer, my ambition to one day attend a game as a San Francisco female in scarlet and gold and a happy smile and coca cola, but is there anything left for me to watch?
Saudi Female Drivers
Communities
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Friday, 25 September 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
Joker
October 05, 2019

Joker

October 05, 2019

Joker

Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...